Parents and players – welcome to season 2018. Rod, Chris and I are really looking forward to working with all the boys and helping them develop and have some fun as the season progresses.
Our side for season 2018 welcomes four boys who have never played Aussie Rules before and four boys who have joined us from Highett – we welcome them all with open arms and look forward to them being a big part of 2018. The balance of the boys are about a 50/50 mix from last year’s two sides – so they are all getting to know each other and how we play.
We will be doing our best to develop a team that reflects all the Hampton Rovers values – Passion, Teamwork, Fun and Respect. We will ensure we take an inclusive approach and all the boys will share equal game time across the season – also getting the opportunity to play in a variety of positions.
I can see all the boys are really looking forward to playing and I think we are all happy the season has finally arrived!
Well winter arrived early today and the boys were confronted with June like arctic conditions. Jake Fix and Thomas Phillips accepted the roles of co-captains and got off to a good start winning the toss and kicking with the wind. Both were impressive with their lead by example style all day – well done boys.
We dominated play in the first quarter without reflecting it on the scoreboard. The boys were moving it well out of the middle with Charlton and Gideon continually getting their hands on the ball. They were well supported by Oscar and Harry Block who ran hard and provided lots of midfield drive. Zac and Thomas provided plenty of run from the wing.
Matthew Cole and Jake Fix were rocks in defence and Wes and Will provided plenty of options up forward. Wes got us onto the scoreboard with the first goal of the game.
Having only kicked one goal in the first quarter we were going to need to defend stoutly against the wind. The boys were terrific, applying constant pressure all quarter. Although we conceded a goal, our defence held up with great leadership from Jake Fix and lots of run from Wes and Ollie. The midfield continued to work hard, Harry Wolfenden’s introduction into the game provide some real grunt as we attempted to work the ball from half back to half forward. Jake Seddon came off the bench and also provided additional run and creativity. Zac stood out, constantly winning the ball and driving it forward from the wing. One piece of standout linking play in the second quarter saw Charlton win the ball at half back, pass to Gideon, who marked and passed the ball to Wes at half forward. This was impressive stuff and something we hope to see more of through the season.
The wind died off in the second half, but for the most part we controlled the third quarter. Bailey Stewart came into the game, providing another option up forward, Charlton went to full forward and scored our only goal of the quarter. Bailey Mitchell and Niko also got their hands on the ball up forward and started to look dangerous. Will was providing a lot of creativity and elusiveness off a wing, as was Jake Seddon. While Matty Garlick and Oillie moved onto the ball and worked hard at every contest.
Unfortunately we couldn’t convert our forward thrusts and we got caught on the rebound as the boys tired, conceding a couple of goals. Matty Cole did all he could to stem the flow.
We were a couple of goals down going into the third quarter and I asked the boys to dig deep and run and attack. They responded really well. We defended a number of attacks with our new boys Tobey and Robbie both getting into the play – Tobey took a terrific mark and showed great determination, while Robbie won the ball in a contest before dishing it off to a team mate. Charlton proved his versatility, moving to full back and foiling a number of goals on the last line.
Stefan pushed into the ruck and started to impose himself on the game, while Gideon and Harry Wolfenden continued to drive the ball forward. We had two almost certain goals stopped on the goal line through some great defending by East Malvern, which turned out to be the difference. There was a great piece of play that saw James mark the ball at half forward, drive the ball further into our forward line that resulted in a goal to Hugo – great reward for someone who battled hard all day.
Although we didn’t get the points today, the boys should be really proud of the way they played – particularly given the conditions. We will only get better as the season progresses.
See you all at training.
Hampton Rovers – Best Mates